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While it may look like the United States is being tough and forceful in Ukraine, the reverse is true. The US is showing incredible weakness, and it is wearing it on its sleeve.

Let’s start with Ukraine. The US has gone all out to try and help Ukraine win a victory over the Russians.

The Biden administration wants this to happen for two reasons: to show that Biden is not a wimp and won’t cut and run like he did in Afghanistan (and on this the 20th anniversary of the War in Iraq, like his predecessor Obama did by pulling US forces out of Iraq) and that he wants to “strengthen” NATO by eventually putting a NATO army in Ukraine.

The reason for not wanting to look like a wimp is self-evident and does not need any further explanation, other than to say that Washington elites have bought into the false narrative that Ukraine is a glowing democracy and we should defend it. Of course, the US disrupted Ukraine’s free politics and pushed the rebellion against a properly elected government.

Likewise, the US also has kept its mouth shut about the political repression in Ukraine, the jailing of political opponents, and the complete takeover of all the media in the country. Ukraine also has mistreated the Russian-speaking population, essentially putting pressure on Russian speakers to leave the country.

The latest twist on this highway of suppression is Zelensky-led attacks on the Russian Orthodox Church, with the most recent manifestation closing a centuries-old monastery and forcing out the Orthodox Monks from the property. Zelensky, to make Washington happy, is pretending to go after corrupt officials in a country famous for corruption (both under the old Soviet leadership and the post-Soviet Ukrainian regimes).

But, as anyone could quickly grasp, expanding NATO is a liability for the United States and the other NATO members. By creating a border that is to be extended by thousands of miles without actually expanding NATO’s military capabilities, is a disaster in waiting.

Moreover, NATO expansion is unnecessarily destabilizing for Europe and the world, because it jacks up the tension between the two big nuclear powers in Europe, the US and Russia. While no one has honestly done the math, a target-rich NATO is dangerous.

Right now, neither the US nor its NATO partners (rather, it should be said, very junior partners) have the wherewithal to defend the territories of NATO before the latest expansion to Finland and Sweden; and when Ukraine is added the situation becomes even riskier.

Indeed, perhaps the key accomplishment of Biden and his friends in Europe, has been to put huge sanctions on Russia. This has removed Russia as a trading, commercial, and resource partner for Europe, meaning the Russians have little to protect in Europe by way of investments and supplier and trade agreements.

Even more critically, Russia has reoriented its economy to China and India, which together are well over 2.2 billion people (not counting Russia which adds another 150 million). Russia is strong on raw materials, including natural gas and petroleum, important minerals such as titanium, agriculture, especially wheat, and military technology, including rockets and nuclear. What Russia does not have is semiconductor technology, but China does.

A second major consequence of US and EU sanctions on Russia is that Russia’s strategic partnership with China has now expanded, and will continue to grow. This is a challenge to the United States which saw itself as the world’s Hegemon, as the sole Super Power.  Whether this was ever true is open to doubt, but in the minds of Washington’s policy-makers, it was indelibly implanted. It still is, but now it is demonstrably not true.

In a recent meeting of former senior military officials, almost all of them wanted to send far more weapons to Ukraine and maybe NATO forces. This kind of thinking is a great example of not understanding the US strategic position objectively, instead of ideologically and myopically.

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